- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

SAYREVILLE, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says flooding and other damage caused by a blizzard shows the state needs to build protective sand dunes.

Speaking at a news briefing in Sayreville on Saturday afternoon, the Republican governor sharply chastised those who are waging a legal fight against the state’s plan. He said the dune work should not be hindered by “a few very selfish homeowners” and their “selfish lawyers,” citing opposition raised by residents in the coastal towns of Margate and Point Pleasant Beach.

Noting there already was “significant water” in the streets of Margate on Saturday morning, Christie said it had gone “up the wall the residents and (city) government says is good enough to protect them from any storm.”

The shore town just south of Atlantic City won a court ruling last month when a judge said it’s entitled to a new hearing to challenge whether the state is justified in using eminent domain to acquire town-owned beachfront lots.

Some oceanfront homeowners in Point Pleasant Beach are waging a similar court battle, saying efforts to seize strips of their sand for the dune project is a land grab.

“It’s three years post (Superstorm) Sandy,” Christie said. “(The dunes) should not be held up by what I really believe are a few very selfish homeowners who do not want to give into the idea that we have to build these dunes by using the fake excuse that somehow I want to build a boardwalk or a ferris wheel or a hot dog stand or public bathrooms on the strip of land that we’re taking. It’s a ridiculous idea, put forward by some selfish folks and their selfish lawyers who are just looking to make money off this.”

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